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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    February 15, 2013
    8:00 - 10:30pm EST  

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without objection this sub committee stands adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] >> next general odierno. after that, president obama and his plan to help the middle class. after that, house democrats talk about budget cuts a. u.s. general odierno talks about potential budget shortfalls. he talked about the sequester cuts that would go into effect next month and the temporary solution to fund the government did it will impact the size and readiness of the u.s. army forces. he made his remarks at the
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brookings institution. this is over an hour. >> good morning, everyone, and on behalf of brookings and our center for 21st century security, we're honored to have the chief of staff of the army, general ray odierno, to speak. you are aware of the challenges of the budget process and our future military planning as well as current operations. no one could be more distinguished and a more thoughtful person to discuss these matters than general odierno, who is a friend of brookings and the broader defense community for a long time, and he has been a distinguished servant in our nation's military and defense throughout that time. he took the fourth infantry division to iraq and presided over its operation, directed its operations in the first year of
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the iraq war. then he returned as the multinational force corps commander and was along with david petraeus and ryan crocker one of the key three american architects of the surge. -- search. from december 2006 through the early time of 2008, he was the person making the decisions on where the forces should go, how they should base themselves, how they should operate within the population, how they should interact with iraqi forces, all the detail behind the surge, that if you speak to general petraeus, he will say that is the crucial part of what made this whole thing work. general odierno was the primary architect. he got a few months off and went back to iraq, commanding the entire operation, where he did the job for two years and did not get any reprieve, because after spending a year at the joint forces, he has been the chief of staff of the army since 2011 and is engaged in this intensive budget process right
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now. we all look forward to hearing what he will say. he will speak for a few minutes. i will ask a few questions and then we will go to you. please join me in welcoming general odierno. [applause] >> thank you very much. it has been a pretty exciting week, but there are many more exciting weeks ahead of us, i believe, and i look forward to those. i appreciate everyone coming out today. many thanks to michael and everyone here at brookings. it is always a pleasure to come here. it is an opportunity to think through the difficult issues and get a chance to listen and hear other people's opinions. i look forward today to
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answering your questions. i will leave a lot tougher questions, so i can discuss the issues that you think are important, that you want to hear about, but there are a few things i want to say first, so i will take 10 minutes to talk about that. as i said, your invitation to speak is a timely one, as we testified twice this week. we have the state of the union address as well this week, as well as for me the presentation of the medal of honor for staff sergeant romesha. those things come together when you think about the president talking about how he sees the future, we have us talking about the future of our budgets, and what it means to our defense, and then we have the opportunity to see a great american hero, a young soldier who does what we ask him to do every day, and so it has been a very emotional and important week for me personally, as evidenced by the
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congressional testimony this week, our nation's leaders continue to grapple with decisions that will shape the trajectory of our national security for the years ahead. the near-term budget decisions ahead of us today will affect the direction we're try to take the joint force, but in my case, the army, as we complete combat operations in afghanistan, then reset our equipment, reorient our force and be prepared to deal with a broader weight of challenges that are defined in the defense to strategies that we rolled out last year, when we put a lot of thought into about where we want to go as a defense department in the future. we need to approach these problems, as tough as they are, with an understanding of the fundamental role the army plays in providing our nation's security. this morning i would like to
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describe the strategic and physical challenges that the army faces, the joint force faces, and the impact it will have on the future, to include its readiness, size, and other things as we move forward. before i do, i would like to take a moment to reflect on the basic building blocks of the army, and that is the american soldier. and staff sergeant romesha was presented the medal of honor by president. his heroism symbolizes the caliber of the men and women serving today. it's hard to give credit to the american people just how -- hard to describe to the amer ican people just how talented and dedicated these young men and women are. they possess humility and selflessness that we will respect. they embrace and are dedicated
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to the profession with moral and physical courage that epitomizes the american soldier. since 9/11 we have grown a generation of leaders and soldiers from the young men and women who have volunteered to serve our country. 1.5 million soldiers have deployed over the past 12 years. more than 500,000 have deployed two, three, four, or five times. more than 4700 have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend this great nation. our soldiers today operate in a most uncertain and unpredictable environment. it is the most dynamic and unpredictable i have seen in my over 36 years of service. unlike post-conflict drawdowns, where we have a termination of conflict due to a police treaty or a political decline of a -- peavece trearty
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or a political decline of a superpower, instead today we have 81,000 soldiers deployed, including 50,000 fighting in afghanistan, and thousands of others in kuwait, in the horn of africa. over 91,000 soldiers are stationed in over 160 countries. we have been in a continuous state of war in the last 12 years, the longest in our history. but today, in my opinion, the greatest threat to our national security is the fiscal uncertainty resulting from a lack of predictability in the budget cycle, a series of continuing resolutions, a threat of sequestration hanging over our heads, our country's inability to put its fiscal house in order compromise is the full readiness of the joint force, army, and will impact our ability to provide our security
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to our nation. we have two problems as i sit --s stand here today. we have an immediate problem in fiscal year 2013, which has about eight months left. we have a longer-term problem due to potential full sequestration. in fiscal year 2013, the combination of a continuing resolution, a shortfall of overseas contingency afghanistan funds and the sequester has resulted in a $18 billion shortfall to the army's operation and maintenance accounts, as well as an additional $6 billion cut all other programs. all these cuts will have to be taken over the last seven months of this year. what does that mean? what that means is we will have to take immediate actions. as we prioritize, we will always
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ensure that our soldiers in afghanistan or next to deploy are properly equipped and trained. then we will see if we can continue to ensure the readiness of the global response force at fort bragg. we will have to take some immediate steps to reduce expenditures and plan for budgetary shortfalls. we will curtail training for 80% of all our force. we have canceled all but one of our brigade level training center rotations for non- deploying forces. training camp cuts will impact our fighting skills. it will reduce shortfalls across other specialties, including aviation, intelligence, engineering, and our ability to recruit new soldiers into the army. we will reduce work at our depots, which will delay the reset of our equipment coming out of iraq and afghanistan.
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we will furlough up to 251,000 of our civilians for up to 22 days, terminate nearly 31 employees, and 5,000 workers at our depots. and the list goes on and on. i am touching on just a few of the impacts that will cause us to make some of these difficult decisions over the next seven months, because of this bermuda triangle of uncertainty that we have had in the budget, specifically in fiscal year 2013. in the longer term, we have a bigger issue. i want to first remind everybody that sequestration is not the first cuts we have taken in the military. in 2010, we took $200 million in cuts on the secretary's issues, followed up by the budget control act which directed
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another $487 billion worth of cuts in our defense spending. we are now just beginning to implement that almost $800 billion worth of cuts now. we have not quite seeing those that. we have just begun to see the impacts. on top of that, with sequestration, we will take an additional $500 billion worth of cuts in the department of defense, so we're now up to $1.2 trillion worth of cuts since 2010. this does not include the reduction in our spending of overseas contingency accounts, which also now has to be -- some of it will have to be woven into our base budget, such as ie detection equipment, which will cause another shortfall in the department of defense as we migrate these programs that we know we need in the future. we're now up to $1.3 trillion worth of cuts, which we will
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have to find in the department of defense. this is significant. people often say afterward we have a reduction that is normal, in the army. since 2008, if we implement the 2014 budget without sequestration, it will be a 45% reduction in the army budget. if we implement sequestration, it will be over 50%. that is a significant cut. these are not insignificant numbers we're talking about. it will have an impact on our capabilities as we move forward. for fiscal year 2014 and beyond, sequestration will result in a loss of by a minimum 100,000 soldiers in our active national guard and u.s. army reserve. this is on top of an 88,000 cut we're taking right now. my guess is -- that is about 190,000.
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i guess in the end it will be over 200,000 soldiers that we will have to take out of active components of the national guard and the u.s. army reserve. we will take almost a 40% reduction in our current brigade combat teams once we're finished. sequestration will result in delays of every one of our modernization programs, stretch them out longer and longer. it will have an inability to reset our equipment in a timely fashion if we are asked to deploy, and it will impact our ability to train individually the units. these reductions will impact every army base at installation across the entire country. such a rapid decline in our ability to train and maintain the force will result in extremely low levels of readiness inside the next six months, which will cascade into fiscal year 2014 and 2015.
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no matter how this all turns out, which is still somewhat of an unknown, fiscal constraints are here to stay. we understand that. we have to play a role, because the status of our economy and our fiscal capacity is a key piece of our strength and a nation, and we understand that. but our domestic fiscal constraints do not diminish budding threats overseas. many of the challenges we face are in headlines at every day, whether the aggressiveness of north korea and iran, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, continued turmoil across the middle east and north africa, or with a growing threat of cyber attacks. as a joint force and an army, we must make decisions based on the context of the security environment and the historical experience, not false assumptions about the future.
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last year the department of defense to build a collaborative process to publish a 2012 defense strategy. the strategy calls for on the department to invest in the capabilities critical for future success cannot resist the temptation to sacrifice readiness to retain force structure, rebuilt readiness in areas that would be emphasized over the past decade. a fundamental role in 10 of 11 identified missions, the army designated its force structure requirements in support of this guidance. my priorities for building the army of the future have not changed, because they have been developed from consistent with our new defense strategy in how we see the future. if sequestration occurs, we'll have to do a complete review of our defense strategy.
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and develop a new strategy based on the fiscal realities. as we move forward, the posture for our army in the future, we must have the foundational capabilities to win our nation's wars, but more importantly, we must provide capabilities to our geographic combatant commanders that assist in their efforts to shape there and start to join inter-agency and multinational activities, what we call phase- zero operations. we'll have to harness the unique capabilities of the army and sure that the combatant commanders get what they need to their environment, we will deliver packages for a variety of missions such as building partner capacity the humanitarian and disaster relief, bilateral exercises, and rotational forces for operational contingency missions. we will execute this by
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implementing a process of what the called regionally allied forces, where we will align the army to meet their needs. some additional actions we're taking to reshape the force, but include making modifications to combat team structures to incorporate the lessons learned of the nearly 12 years of war. we must revitalize our military education system to ensure we are growing leaders with a broad understanding of historical experiences, but more importantly, to prepare them for the future, to prepare them for what we expect to see as we move forward. it is more important that we seek a balance of capabilities and readiness across the total army. we need the capabilities of the active army, the capabilities of the army national guard, and the u.s. army reserve.
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we must balance our force structure to reflect the different readiness levels of each of our components, and make sure they fit into the strategy that we will execute into the future. we must make it affordable and cost-effective decisions to provide the most professional capabilities to our commanders, and we must capitalize on our strengths. our modernization efforts must remain centered on the soldier and squad as a building block of our army. the extent to which we provide our soldiers the right equipment, vehicles, and that works to succeed of future battlefields will be determined by our fiscal decisions today. we must learn from our 12 years of combat to build and sustain the resiliency and readiness of our soldiers, civilians, and families. we will watch campaigns to develop a comprehensive fitness and stress that our force. we will place a high priority of
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programs that help veterans and families transition back to civilian life. caring for our wounded warriors and keeping faith with families is the century to honoring their service and preserving america's confidence in our military institutions. we are at a strategic point in the future of the u.s. army and the u.s. military. there's no doubt that we need a globally-engaged army with enough capacity to deter and prevent conflict. we need an army that takes capabilities and the unique structure that army has today to shape the environment and prevent conflict in all of our geographic combatant commands. this is about our nation's security. it is about developing the right balance of capabilities within the joint force. our history tells us that we get out of balance, our enemies will
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seek to take advantage and use that calculation in conflicts. the one thing history is clear about, we will be asked to deploy soldiers again. it is my responsibility that when they are asked, they have the capacity and readiness to be decisive and accomplish the mission. i look forward to the debate and feedback on the joint force and army's plans to posture for the future. i am interested in your views on the effects of budgetary effects and sequestration and its impacts on readiness and our national security. i want to think again everyone for coming here this morning. i am proud to continue to wear this uniform. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you for your moving remarks and the big issues you are wrestling with. i wanted to come back to specific points to give you a chance to elaborate. let's begin with the $18 billion number you mentioned, a scary number. some people in this audience follow the nitty-gritty of defense more than others, but would you explain what that means.
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let's talk about that number. the $18 billion is in your operations and maintenance account, which is paying for everything from the civilian work force to health care, training and maintaining the equipment, getting ready for war. you said you are going to protect the funds in that account for those who are already deployed or how are about to go, which means the rest of the force has a larger cut. can you explain this in more context in terms of what percentage cut this might be or the kinds of things that these forces normally would be doing in the spring and summer they will not be able to do this year. >> what that means is there is a couple of factors happening here. the army is responsible for funding the afghanistan operation, so we won't allow our mission in afghanistan, our troops, in afghanistan, to go unfunded. we have been given the authority to do that. we will not let that go unfunded. we see about a $5 billion to $6 billion shortfall, and we think it might grow to as much as $8 billion.
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so that is a problem. when they signed the continuing resolution when that went into effect, there was a mismatch of funds, not enough funds in the operational accounts, so we have a $6 billion shortfall there, and the sequestration adds about another $5.4 billion. what does that mean? we are funding totally afghanistan. we are going to fund totally korea to sustain their readiness level in korea. so what that means is the rest of the forces now back in the united states will not be able to train, not be able -- they will be able to do small-level, squad-level training, not platoon-level, company-level, the kind of training back at their installations. they will not be able to go out to combat training centers, which is what provides them the final readiness certification at the battalion and brigade levels. what that means in the future is we are funding the forces in
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afghanistan and the next ones to go in, and as they go in in the summer and fall, my concern is the ones that go in after them, they will now be behind, and we will have to extend, when 2014 starts, how long it takes me to get them ready. i made the comment to congress the other day -- i have two choices. if i cannot make that up quickly, i have to send in forces that are not ready, or i will have to extend those already there, and that will be a decision i will have to make as we get closer, and we will continue to try to divert money so we do not have to extend people in afghanistan, and that is a big concern of mine. it impacts many other things like installations. this runs our installations. we are going to have to cut 70% of the money we have available to run our installations so we are going to be able to pay for water, heat, and that is about it -- and air conditioning, depending where you are. we are -- we are not going to be able to do maintenance on facilities. this means is when we get the money, it will cost us more, because we will have delayed the
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maintenance of our buildings, of our training systems, of all the other things that are run on our installations. we have tried to protect our critical family programs that are needed, counseling and other things, for families and soldiers who need them. that also will be impacted somewhat. it will not be completely protected. so this has a dramatic effect on our ability to train and provide forces in the future, has a dramatic effect on our installations, on our families. it goes across the entire army, and as part of this we will lose part of our civilian workforce, our depots will be smaller so the backlog of our equipment coming back. we are still resetting equipment coming out of iraq last year, and that will take another while. that will delay that.
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it will delay the equipment coming out of afghanistan, so that decreases readiness levels, and that continues to build on itself, so instead of being ready by 2014, now it might be 2016. my concern is because of the uncertainty in the world, we do not know when we might have to go somewhere. nobody knows. 36 years in the army, but i will take the last -- since 1989, or 1990, we have not predicted when we will use forces. when the wall came down in europe, people said this is it, we do not need any more, and a year later we are deploying to the desert of kuwait. then we went into somalia, and then we had panama, so you do not know.
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it is our responsibility to be prepared that if the president decides he needs to use the military, that we are ready and prepared, and i am concerned whether we will be able to do that as we move through the next couple years. >> give us a picture of what happens now with equipment that needs to be repaired. helicopters, tanks, other vehicles, what happens to them over these next few months? >> we have two kinds, tanks, bradleys, fighting vehicles, helicopters, and motor pools, so over the next seven months, those not deploying, we will not be able to sustain them to the level that we normally do. people have to do some minimal- level maintenance that we can afford to at least do something, but it will not sustain them to a level necessary for us if we have to deploy them. what i have tried to describe is today we are in a high state of readiness, but that goes away, it slowly degrades, and so over the next six or seven months, if
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you are not taking care of your and equipment, you are degrading your equipment. you can never gain back that time. push readiness to the right. >> but some people will say putting some fiscal pressure on dod is not such a bad thing overall. is anything that the services are embarked as you face the reality, any good at all? maybe you could quantify what percentage of the cuts you might have to take are actually reasonable to consider? is there any good? >> there is, so what happens anytime you are in war for a long time, 12 years, and it has happened in the past, is because of our attempt to react and make sure we have everything
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necessary for our soldiers, sailors, marines. we spend a bit more money on providing that, and it is not as efficient. there are inefficiencies that we can gain. approximately 300, when secretary gates presented the 487 that we agreed to, and those are based on downsizing a little bit, getting more efficient, providing a force that's more
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effective. adding on to that now, it's going to cause some issues and that's -- so we understand. but i think people just kind of say, well, people, say, well it's only 10% of your budget. again, if you look at the numbers and you look what it really means, it's not -- it's much more than 10% over time and it's critical to us as we move forward. for the army, about 48% of our budget is people. so if you want to reduce costs to the army, you have to reduce people. but there's two sides to this. we have to -- so i've got to balance that. the one thing i promised i would never do is have too much -- too many people where i can't get them the right -- i can't sustain them at the right readiness levels or give them the best equipment and i'm not going to walk away from that, but what you have to be careful of, if you get too small, you lose your ability to deter conflict. and my concern is, what you don't -- you have people who miscalculate and almost every
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great war we've been into or great regional conflict, it's based on a huge miscalculation by somebody. and what i worry about is we will cause people to miscalculate, which will then cause us to have to get involved and so we want to maintain the right capacity that people understand that we still have the ability to respond and we still have the ability to ensure our own security to our nation across the broad spectrum of our joint capabilities. >> just one more question and then i'll go to the audience, although i want to come back as we near the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the iraq war, i want to satisfy if you have any reflections -- see if you have any reflections on that important anniversary, but before i do that, i wonder if you could explain, build on this last point you made about cutting the army and what signals it might send and i guess my question is, the army could get smaller, and you've been very clear, you're making it smaller already, it's already going back sort of close to
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1990's levels. in the cold war period, the active army was of course 800,000 or more. now it's down in the rough vicinity of half a million. as we cut more, as we consider cutting more, if we had sequestration or the simpson-bowles plan, we might have to cut 400,000 active-duty soldiers, for example, is your major concern that that is just way too small of a force potentially or that the pace at which we would get there would send a message that america is retrenching, or are you worried about the sum total of all the messages we're sending? >> i'm worried about both. first, we all realize the army is getting smaller hand so we're going town to 490,000 in the active component. even if sequestration doesn't occur, my guess is we'll go smaller. in order for me to balance the readiness and the modernization as i talked, so we're still working that number. if we get sequestration, i've
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got to be careful that we don't go below a certain number and has to do with capacity and capability. we have to work our way through that and you know, in the first round of reductions, we didn't reduce the national guard or the u.s. army reserve. we took some people, but no forestructure. they kept all their forestructure. with sequestration, we're going to have to go in and do a balance cut between the active and reserve component, so we maintain that balance, because the active component brings certain qualities. the qualities are they are at a higher readiness, prepared to deploy more quickly. they have a capability to do certain things quicker. buff the national guard, reserve provide also, a huge quality that we need. they provide a diverse level of experience, in certain airplane i can't say that we can't live without. they provide us a depth that allows us to conduct operations if we have to do extended operations. that are key and they also provide a key role in homeland defense and homeland security. and so i've got to balance to
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make sure we keep the right balance, so it's not one or the other than. it's about the right balance between the two. and that's what we're working through. that's why i hear some arguments sometimes, well, you know, this one is cheaper than this one. that -- i don't listen to that discussion, because it's about the right balance, of capabilities to meet what we expect our national security need and there's a reason why we have a national guard, u.s. army reserve. there's a reason why it's more inexpensive. there's a reason why they're citizen soldiers and we need that. there's also a reason why we need active component and i have to make sure we balance that. i worry about the size as well. i mean, i think there's a certain level of capability that i need to have, that i would propose to the joint -- to the president and to the chairman and others that we have to have, in order to sustain our capabilities to respond globally. and i just think he to be careful.
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is it 490? no. i already told you, we might have to go a little lower than that. but some of the numbers i hear are too small. and i do worry that the capability will be much less than we need. the other thing i look at carefully, what are our partners doing? and frankly, as i look at all our partners, except right now for france, if you look at all our nato allies, they're significantly reducing their ground forces, so i mean, so part of our -- so you can't is a part of our plan is our allies will do this. if their capacity is reducing, we have to be prepared to make sure we can unilaterally do what we need to do to protect ourselves, so we have to view that as well as we go forward. >> i guess i do have one last quick followup and i will i promise go to you. when you think about the numbers getting too small, the army getting too small, and again, this is probably going to be a question where you say all of the above, but i'm curious how you would emphasize, do you
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think primarily about certain scenarios? we had a north korean nuclear test this week, even though no one expects or hopes for war on the korean peninsula, we can't rule it out. there are obviously concerns that even though the president isxd not inclined toward major intervenes in syria rights now, who knows where that conflict is going. there's the potential for a crisis with iran that could begin with airstrikes against this nuke letter facilities, but the enemy gets a say in where the thing ends. there's a lot of other scenarios that one could put on the table, none of which are individually likely, but hard to rule out definitively. is that the way you come up with a number of what would be too small or sort of the pace at which we get to wherever we're going to wherever we've been. >> for me, you have to have a certain capacity and certain capability. and you can size it against a certain threat, but it's how does it react to -- what is the kind of capability you want to react, no matter what happens. and it's a certain size that you need. and it's a certain size within
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your active component you need, and then a certain size you need in your national guard, if it goes to an extended, so you have to look at that. in terms of how fast we come down, that's important about sustaining the incredible quality that we have today in our army. this is the highest quality army we have ever had in terms of people, and leaders. and so if we try to come down too fast, we have learned when we've done this in the mass, we have not -- we have lost our best leaders and best soldiers. so part of this is coming down in such a way where we're able to sustain our best leaders, our best soldiers, and readiness. see, the problem i have is not only do i have to come down, but because of the uncertainty of the world, i have to sustain readiness as i come down. and if you do it too quickly, you're going to lose readiness. and that's the problem we're in right now. is we're trying to do this so fast, with so many of these forced cuts, is that if something happens, it's causing
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us myself concern, because i'm going to have trouble sustaining a readiness, if we have to respond. and so it's a combination of those two. >> thank you. please wait for a microphone when i call on you and identify yourself before posing a question. we'll begin in the back with the gentleman in the blue shirt. please. >> good morning general. my name is tom wolfson, i'm a retired foreign service officer and i don't want to divert you from this important strategic level or your message but i want to take the opportunities of your being here to ask you about veterans. several years ago, i spent a little while living and working on a small u.s. base in kunar province in northeast afghanistan. nothing bad happened to me. i came home with no mental trauma or psychological -- or physical injuries to work through. but i nevertheless had a tiny taste of disorientation that veterans feel. in fact, for a couple of days, i felt like walking up to people, as i went about my errands and shaking them and saying, do you
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have any idea of what your countrymen are going through for you on the other side of the world? and as this idea of thank you for your service has permeated through the population and american popular culture, there's something superficial about it, if you pardon me for saying so, even faddish. so if your view of how veterans have been received and cared for here, and what the people taking care of what they need, what in your opinion has worked well, and what's not working well? >> there's two things that we have to really -- first of hall, thank you, it's a great question, thank you for asking it. there's two things that i think are the most important things that we have to be able to do. that is first provide long-term care and access to care for our veterans who have injuries, whether they be visible or in nonvisible injuries. and they have to be confident
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and their families have to be confident that that care will be there and will always be there. the second piece in my mind is the program we've implemented, soldier for life program. and what this means, i believe it's part of our responsibility to help soldiers transition. and you know, we transition 200,000 soldiers every year out of the active guard and reserve, out of the army. and that will go up if we have to start, you know, as we decrease the size of the army, so it's about us helping them to transition into society, transition to a job that is worthy of their expertise. and we've had a lot of companies step forward and want to help us with this and i'm really encouraged by a lot of the work going un0, but there's still much more to do, to make sure that if you want to thank a veteran, you thank them by giving them the opportunity of employment. and giving them the opportunity
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to continue to provide for his family and to me, those are the most two important things. so some of the things we've had issues with. stop is, it's taking us too long to get our wounded veterans through our processes in order to determine what -- to determine the level of injury that they've had and the right compensation. it's taking us too long to do that. we're getting better, but it's taking us too long. we're learning a lot about in today's society, what are the issues of ptsd and its relationship to suicides. i believe suicide is a societial issue that's growing, but we have a huge problem in the military. and we have to continue to figure out how we get after this. and that's why i mentioned in the end of my talk today, our ready resilient campaign.
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we have learned that there's several things that we have to do. and we have to start from the beginning when you first come in. is build -- everybody comes from different backgrounds with different capabilities and we have to build resilience in our soldiers and we do that through physical resilience, mental resilience, and you build mental resilience through confidence, developing coping mechanisms that allow them to deal with the very complex and difficult situations we put them in as well as their families. and we have to be able to do that. because i've seen and you've probably seen, you have an incident, the same thing happened to two people, they preact two very different ways. we've got to bring that closer together in my mind. >> stay in the back and then work our way up. so i guess two over from where we just were. >> sir, my name is clint reach, i'm from the defense department reduction agency. you mentioned briefly syria and i was wondering what and the possibility of whether an
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intervention is going to happen, maybe it's likely, maybe it's not, but i think it's important for people to understand what that intervention might enthat i would, and your thoughts about that. is it going to involve ground troops, what should we be thinking about in terms of syria and what's at stake? >> well, there's a knew things. thanks for the question. there's a few things, as i look at serbia, to be concerned about. one is, you know, how politically does syria turn out. i think if you talk to most experts, it's not a matter of if or when, it's about when a new regime takes over in syria, so what did that regime look like, you know, what could we do politically and other ways to support that regime, and make sure it becomes a productive member of the regional security architecture in the middle east. the second issue is obviously the wmd. the fact that we know there's wmf in syria, and what happens
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to that wmd. so clearly, there's concern on everyone's part that that stays secure and does not fall in to the right hands, especially those of terrorist organizations who might try to use it in a variety of ways. so you know, as we move forward, we will -- we plan, we put plans together, and make sure we're prepared, if asked, to deal with, if an intervention is required. i think, you know, if you ask the president, i don't want to speak for the president, but he believes he can do most of this diplomatically working with our partners, but we -- and so we just have to be prepared, if necessary. so we'll continue to plan, continue to look at how potentially we might have to be used and we're doing that on a very significant basis every day. >> over here to john in the second row, please. >>xd john, transitio i'm the trs
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significanting militarily officer. after 30 years -- transitioning military officer, after 30 years. great time. and oh, i'm on the market too by the way. in light of the reset and the reorientation and sequestration, what do you think -- what do you need, what do you want from businesses and from the think tanks, universities, to help you prepare the joint force in the army, let's say in the asia pacific region, since that's kind of where we're looking at at the moment. >> well, you know, so first off, what we need is constant thought about what we think the future of warfare is, and how do we think it impacts, whether it be in the asia pacific region, the middle east, wherever we might go. and so it's important to constantly have that thought and discussion. you know, i've been a little frankly, disappointed in that well, you know, the ground war is over in afghanistan and a lot of, i'm not saying everybody, but a lot say we don't need an
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army anymore. i think that's a very short sighted, a very, in my opinion, immature view. it's not because i'm in the army. it's because i think it's about having a balance. balance my change. i'm not -- but it's about having a -- it enables us to sustain our security. and there's nothing in the history that tells us that we should be -- we will never use an army again or never have to -- there's nothing that tells us that. there's no historical part of time that says, that's going to be the case in the future. and so this kind of discussion bothers me frankly. so i would like to see some really thought into what is the type of force that we need and how do we use it and have a good solid discussion about it. that helps us think through the problem. you know, in terms of technology -- you know, technology is still really importantly. you know, for the army, the biggest challenge we have from a technology perspective is this
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tradeoff between mobility, survivability and lethalbility. and what we found in afghanistan and iraq, because of low tech weapons, we lost our survivability. excuse me, we lost our mobility, because we had to focus on survivability. and so our ability to be mobile was taken away from us, because we had to put so much stuff on our existing vehicles, it may them heavy, they were no longer maneuverable. they had to stay on roads. that's not what we need in the future. from a technological standpoint, we need development in materials, we need to develop new ideas in how we can conduct operations and lethal operations, be more mobile and the last thing is is that we talk about is this is why i focus on leadership. in my mind, leadership is the keep going forward. -- key going forward and it's because i believe that in the future, it's about the joint interagency, intergovernmental,
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multinational environment, we call jiin, we have to have an acronym for everything and we have to be able to move your way through this, because you know, what i've learned over the last 10 years with my experience is it's not about what happened, it's why it happened. once you figure out why it happened, you can then come up with the right combination of solutions to fix that problem. we need to think about that. you know, we need to think about that. so those are the kind of things. >> yes, sir, here in the fourth row. >> general, thank you for your service. i'm john worthman with the association of american gee graphers, i run a campaign on the importance of k12 degrieve education because of growth in gis and g.p.s. technologies. the campaign has been engorsed by 12 retired four stars, 2 retired former chiefs chairman. i wanted to ask you, you don't
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hear often, senior military leaders speak about the k-12 or higher ed system here in the united states. do you think in thinking of the army of the future, that you know, the leadership of the education system here in the u.s. is doing enough to prepare students? >> well, one of the big problems we have right now, so -- is about out of the population, only 19% to 23% of the population is qualified to come into the army. of hour young population. that's terrible. and that's about the development of our youth. and it's the development across the broad spectrum, to develop educationwise, those who get a high school education, also, it's about physical fitness and weight. we have a huge problem with obesity, huge problem with physical fitness, huge problem with people graduating from high school, and so the eligible population is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. the army is fine today, because there's not -- there's not as much competition, but as the economy grows, there's going to be more and more competition for
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these 19 to 23 percentile, and so in my mind it's important. met me talk specifically about geography. since you brought that up. you know, as we look, the world, the complexity of the world and the fact that you can -- people, the ability to instantaneously communicate and pass information as changed the world. and it has changed how we have to react to the world. so it's absolutely necessary for us in the united states to know just more than the 50 states, which my guess is most people have trouble picking out. but i would tell you that as you get around the world, you have to understand the world and its geography. i mr. tell you, i'm pretty good, but i still struggle with africa, because the names keep changing. i can't keep up with them. but we've got to understand that, and then the -- not only the geography, but then the cultural aspects, religious aspects, economic aspects, social aspects. because that all contributes to how you figure out what the
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right response is when you have a problem in a certain area. >> by the way, i just have to mention that, of course, we hope general rodriguez will soon be running africacome, another great member of the 1976. i should have done a shutout for the class of 1976, in which the big o is a member, dan rodriguez, a lot of amazing americans, so that is worthy of a brief note. let's go right here on the outside. yes, please. >> good morning, sir. you spoke earlier about immediate impacts, and particularly, fiscal year 2013 with sequestration and the continued resolutions and you also spoke to the numbers of personnel that potentially would encompass the reduction in the size of the federal reserve. i'm curious to know, how the reduction, if it were to come to that, would occur, would it be kind of a eclectic reduction in force, with large numbers of folks, you mentioned i think upwards of 200,000 people, would there be a day when, you know,
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40,000 people were let go, do we keep the pipe full of folks and work through attrition, and bringing folks in, can you talk to that? >> yeah. so with the first set of cuts, we've done it over a five year period, we've been able to do it mostly by attrition, there will have to be some other methods, but -- we'll be able to do 75% to 80% of it through attrition. when we get additional cuts, if we have to take additional cuts, i would -- we'll probably have to increase the amount we're putting out each year, but i would still like to leave it at a level where i can control it, because if we control it, we keep the people we want to keep, we're able to help the people transitioning to better transition and it enables ups to keep the level of readiness we need to be able to respond. so i will say the cuts over a 10 year period, but for us, the dilemma is, when most of your money is in people, if you wait to take the money, then it causes you problems in other
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areas, so i have to balance coming down at the right level, but also coming down in such a way i can reinvest it back into readiness and modernization i have to sustain. so that's the challenge. but my goal is to do it in such a way where the large majority of it will be done by attrition, there will have to be some boards that we conduct that would maybe ask people to pretire earlier than they might want, and there might be some boards that tell us we might need some officers and some senior noncommissioned officers to leave, but we'll try to minimize that as much as we can. >> time for a couple more questions here. go to the second row. >> thank you, general. i'm a student from the czech republic. in your speech, you mentioned briefly the fact that nato member and nato allies of the united states, are reducing their military capabilities, and my question is, if there is any sort of diplomatic pressure on the part of u.s. military to force nato allies and members to
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either keep their develops of spending because it seems to me that that could take at least some weight off u.s. military. >> i think -- first off, we realize that size of military is a sovereignty issuer, you get to choose how much you want to spend on your military. however, i think hour sect, both secretary gates and secretary panetta have been very clear on this issue, about certain percentage of g.d.p. we would like our nato allies and partners to spend on defense and that's how we constantly have this discussion. also the other thing we could do is we have to have complementary capabilities. and so what we want to build is complementary capabilities throughout -- with our neat -- nato allies, european partners, so i think that's what we're really trying to focus in those
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areas. that's why it's important to understand where everybody is investing and where we have gaps and where we identify those gaps, we then need to discuss and determine how are we going to fill those gaps as we go forward. >> let's do last question. go over here to peter, please. >> thank you, peter, retired from brookings. you mentioned in your opening remarks that about more than a million u.s. service men have served in iraq and afghanistan. and that's a very small percentage of the total american population, and so a very small percentage of you and your colleagues have borne this cost, the battle. my question is, what about national service? is that a potential solution to addressing some of your personnel cuts and having the wider country share the national burdens? >> yeah. well, i think a lot of different views on this issue, and you
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know, my believe -- so when i first came into the army, i came into the army that was mostly built on the draft and we just moved to starting to move to an all volunteer army. i think there's huge advantages to an all volunteer army. you get people who really want to be there and do this, that helps them to be able to become experts at what they do, they're not there for just one -- it's very difficult to stay at a level of proficiency, if you don't have enough people wanting to stay more than two years or three years, and it really impacts readiness, so you would have to have -- in my opinion, if you go to a draft army or not one that's volunteer, you have to expand the army again. because in order to get the right quality, it takes more to get there. where if you have an all volunteer army, you need less. the problem with an all volunteer army, it does cost more per individual. because we're providing then the benefits necessary for them volunteering for their service. so there's a tradeoff.
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and one of the issues we really do have now is the increase in the amount benefits. it's not the number of benefits, but it's the cost of the benefits. and so the cost of a soldier has doubled since 2000 and that's part of our problem as well. so what we want to do is not eliminate benefits, but we think what we want to do is all we have to do is reduce the rate of increase. and we've tried to work with congress on this, and we'll continue to do that. if we do that, we'll be able to save the money necessary for us to continue with the all volunteer army. now, in terms of the national service, i believe we should have a program that requires every young man and woman to serve some way for our nation. and i think the army can be one of them, the armed forces can be part of it, i think, you know, other work that we should require people to do it for a year or two as a minimum, and you know, i think it's a great way for people to give back to this country. and i think if they did that,
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they would feel much more a part of what we're doing. and so i would love to see a program where we come up with a program where people are required to serve in some way, for some time. as the cost of being a citizen in this great country. and i'll just close, because i know this is, you know, going to sound a little bit polyannaish, but as i go around the world and i've been in so many different countries, people don't know how fortunate we are. i mean, we are so fortunate here. for everything. for the wealth that we have, for the opportunities, everyone has an opportunity in this country. now, we're not perfect, we're getting better, but everyone has an opportunity. and to me, it's incredible. i think enough people don't really understand how lucky we
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are. to live where we do. and have the freedoms that we have. and so i think with national service, i think it brings that home a little bit more, so i'm very supportive of that personally. >> i'm going to ask one last question on iraq as we get towards this tenth, the anniversary of the beginning of the war and by the way, after general o answers, please say here, give him a chance to exit before you leave. and we'll of course thank him in the meantime. but the question is, that as we get to this anniversary and it's obviously still a very controversial subject in the united states and i'm not asking you to necessarily give your big picture view on whether the war was worth it or the net effect of the war on our security, but i am curious, sorts of how you think about maybe some of the lasting pros and cons. you've been through a lot. you sacrificed a lot, your family has sacrificed a great deal, your son was wounded in war, you were i deployed many years away from your family, hugh seen a lot of your soldiers hurt or killed and yet you've also seen the great success of the surge, and some of the
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progress at least provisional progress in the iraqi political system that you helped nurse along, and support. so how do you -- how do you in your own mind begin to sort out the good and the bad? >> well, i would just say, first, as i think -- i think a lot about this actually. the one thing that i think a lot of us forget, maybe we don't, but i will tell you what i learned as i spent time in iraq, that it's hard to describe to somebody what an awful dictator saddam hussein was, unless you were there in iraq. for a long period of time and got a chance to talk to people. and so i think we forget about that sometimes.xd and i think you know, we get too focused on the weapons of mass destruction, i'm not going to get into all of that, but the people were devastated. you know, what i tell everyone, what i underestimate when i got there was a societial devastation that was occurring
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in iraq. the fact that education had stopped for 20 years, the fact that investment had stopped, the fact that people were being brutalized and frankly none of us know -- i can't say, nobody can say, if saddam hussein was still in power today, what would that mean? i don't know. but it wouldn't be good. and i don't know what it would mean to security in the middle east, i don't know what it would mean to terrorism, i don't know. but i know that it would not be good. and i think if nothing else, iraq is not a destabilizing factor right now in the middle east. you know, as you look around, they are. i mean, they're trying to rebuild themselves. now is it going the way i would like it to go right now? no. but i think they're stills a lot to be -- you have to wait. i mean, we know they're increasing oil exports, their military is doing ok, there's huge political issues, there's long memories. and there's still mistrust
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between political parties in iraq. and as long as this huge mistrust between political parties, it's going to take them longer and longer to settle the issues they have to settle and move forward and to be a country that i believe can actually be a huge stabilizing presence. in the middle east. so i guess that's my hope that that is the way. we're not there yet obviously. there's still issues that have to be worked out of in iraq, but when people come semee when i was the commander in iraq, i would say here's iraq, here's iran, turkey, they're in the center of the middle east, and so they are an important country. and so i think we have made it more secure and stable, by what we did in iraq. i'll let everybody determine whether it was worth it or not. that's your own opinion. the money spent, the lives, that's a different issue. the but i will say its men and
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women who served, they're proud of what they did. it was hard, we made some miscalculations in the beginning, we probably didn't have a good enough understanding of what was going on in iraq, but our soldiers never, never stopped doing their missions. and they continue to adapt, and we're able to really by the time we left, the security, you know, very few incidences, security was moving forward and the iraqis were able to sustain a little of security and that goes to the hard work of the young men and women who took that mission on and they're proud of what they accomplished and i'm proud of them for what they've accomplished there and i'm proud of what they're doing in afghanistan as well. i get to go there next week. i'll leave on monday night, tuesday, to head to afghanistan. and i'll get -- what doesn't come through here, is there is true progress being made in afghanistan. the afghans are taking over more and more responsibility, they're doing it quicker than we
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originally thought, we feel comfortable with where they're going. are there political issues in afghanistan? absolutely. does that have to be resolved? yes. but i think we have made some good progress there. and that's because of the hard work of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marine and i'm very proud of all of them for everything they've done there. >> again, please wait a minute before leaving, but please join me in than thanking general o. >> next, president obama talks about gun legislation, and his plan to help the middle class. then, house democratic leaders outline their plan to avoid federal budget cuts beginning march 1 and a conversation with republican tennessee representative marsha blackburn. on the next "washington journal," retired colonel cedric layton discusses president
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obama's decision that he will predues troop strength in afghanistan to 30 now thousand by next year. allison klein on new education proposals outlined by president obama in his state of the union address and the federal trade commission talks about a recent ftc study on credit reports which found that 5% of participants had reports with serious errors on them, which could affect their ability to borrow money. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> we have a habit in this country, if i may say this now, of glossing over presidents, we decided, some people, that they're bald eagles and they all have to be treated as if they're symbols of the country. what that means though is you have a -- you have a smoothing over of their rough edges. and there is a feeling among modern presidents that they have a right to a certain send ration
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and that send ration will be located in their presidential library and even if they're gone, their children in some cases, and their former allies, their lieutenants, who live longer than presidents, because they're younger, they continue this. in fact, in many ways, they are even more ferociously committed to the legacy, not only because it involves them, but because the old man is gone, and they want to show their loyalty and the problem is, what does the government do, because it's responsible for these libraries, when you have a flawed president. >> in mar part two in a conversn with timothy faftali he talks about the challenges he faced as the physical director of the nixon presidential library and museum, sunday on c-span x & a. >> now, president obama speaking in hyde park academy about gun legislation and his plan to help the middle class. he talks about hadiya pendleton who was shot near his former
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home. this is about 30 minutes. >> it's an on for to welcome president obama home. like every major city, chicago faces two challenges, the strength of our school and the safety of our streets. our streets will only be as safe as our schools are strong, and our families are sound. after decades of debate, our children now have a full school day and a full school year, equal to the measure of their potential. we have created five new high schools, partnered with major tech companies, to educate students. all the way to a community college degree and focus on science and technology and math
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and engineering. just like the one the president mentioned in new york, in his state of the union address. new york has one, chicago has five, but who's counting? the reforms we have brought to early childhood education and our community colleges and our college to career program, aligned with the president's agenda as he laid it out in the state of the union address. for our children, to live up to their potential, we have to live up to our obligations to them with greater investment in after-school programs, job training, as well as mentoring programs like becoming a man, a program the president just saw with the kids here. it is programs like these that provide our young people with a moral grounding that they too often are not getting at home. but the real measure for us, after all of this, is that when the students in this school and schools across the city of chicago and across this country, walk out, and they see the promise of downtown, do they see
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their future as part of that opportunity or do they see a different future? and that is how we measure success. the two places where we can bridge that gap between where our kids are today and the promise of this city. and the promise that this city holds are in the classroom and in the home. president obama understands that to connect all americans to that vision, of a promising future, requires that we create real ladders of opportunity. i am pleased he has come home to expand on that vision. ladies and gentlemen, let's give the president of chicago a welcome. ♪
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>> thank you, chicago. hello, chicago. hello everybody. hello hyde park. it is good to be home. it is good to be home. everybody have a seat, y'all relax. it's just me. y'all know me. it is good to be back home. a couple people i want to acknowledge. first of all, i want to thank your mayor, my great friend, rahm emanuel for his owed standing leadership of the city and his kind introduction. [applause] i want to thank everybody here
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at hyde park academy for welcoming me here today. i want to acknowledge your principle and your assistant principal, although, they really make me feel old, because when i saw them -- stand up. stand up. they are doing outstanding work, we're very, very proud of them. but you do make me feel old. sit down. a couple other people i want to acknowledge. governor pat quinn is here doing great work down if springfield. my great friend and senior senator, dick durbin, is in the house. congressman bobby rush is here.
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we're in his district. attorney general and former seat mate of mine when i was in the state senate, lisa madigan. county board president, used to be my alderwoman, tony prekwinkle in the house. and i see a lot of clergy here, and i'm not going to mention them, because if i miss one, i'm in trouble. they're all friends of mine. they've been knowing me. some people may not know this, but obviously, this is my old neighborhood. i used to teach right around the corner. this is where michelle and i met. where we fell in love. this is where we raised our daughters. in a house just about a mile
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away from here. less than a mile. and that's really what i've come here to talk about today. raising our kids. i love you too. i love you too. i'm here to make sure that we talk about and then work towards giving every child, every chance in life. building stronger communities. hand new ladders of opportunity that they can climb. into the middle class and beyond. and most importantly, keeping them safe from harm. michelle was born and raised here. a proud daughter of the south side. and last weekend, she came home, but it was to attend the funeral
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of hadiya pendleton. and hadiya pendleton's parents are here and i want to acknowledge them. they are just wonderful, wonderful people. and as you know, this week, in my state of the union address, i talked about hadiya pendleton, on tuesday night. and the fact that unfortunately, what happened to hadiya pendleton is not unique. it's not unique to chicago, it's not unique to this country. too many of our children are being taken away from us. two months ago, america mourned 26 innocent first graders, and their educators in newtown. and today, i had the high honor of giving the highest civilian award i can give to the
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parent -- or the families of the educators, who had been killed in newtown. and there was something profound and uniquely heartbreaking and tragic, obviously, about a group of 6-year-olds being killed, but last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city. and 65 of those victims were 18 and under. so that's the equivalent of a newtown every four months. and that's precisely why the overwhelming majority of americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. and as i said on tuesday night,
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i recognize not everybody agrees with every issue. there are regional differences. the experience of gun ownership is different in urban areas than it is in rural areas. different from upstate and down state illinois. but these proposals deserve a vote in congress. they deserve a vote. [applause] >> they deserve a vote. and i want to thank those members of congress who are working together in a serious way to try to address this issue. but i've also said no law or set of laws can prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. with a child opens fire on another child, there is a hole in that child's heart that
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government can't fill, only community and parents and teachers and clergy can fill that hole. in too many neighborhoods here today, whether in chicago or the fartherrest reaches of rural america, it can feel like for a lot of young people, the future only extends to the next street corner. or the outskirts of town. that no matter how much you work or how hard you try, your destiny was determined the moment you were born. there are entire neighborhoods where young people, they don't see an example of somebody succeeding. for a lot of young boys an young men in particular, they don't see an example of fathers or grand fathers, uncles, who are in a position to support
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families, and be held up and respected. and so that means that this is not just a gun issue. it's also an issue of the kinds of communities that we're building, and for that, we all share responsibility as citizens. to fix it. we all share a responsibility to move this country closer to our founding vision, that no matter who you are, or where you come from, here in america, you can decide your own destiny. you can succeed if you work hard, and fulfill your responsibilities. [applause] now, that means we've got to grow our economy. and create more good jobs. it means we've got to equip every american with the skills and the training to fill those jobs. and it means we've got to rebuild ladders of opportunity
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for everybody willing to climb it. now that starts at home. there's no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence, than strong stable families. which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood. [applause] you know, don't get me wrong. as the son of a single mom, who gave everything she had to raise me with the help of my grandparents, you know, i turned out ok. but -- no, no but. so we've got single moms out here, they're heroic what they're doing, and we are so proud of them.
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[applause] >> but at the same time, i wish i had had a father who was around and involved. loving, supportive parents, and by the way, that's all kinds of parents. that includes foster parents and that includes grandparents and extended families. it includes gay or straight parents. [applause] >> those parents supporting kids, that's the singlemost important thing. unconditional love for your child. that makes a difference. if a child grows up with parents who have work and have some education, and can be patrol models, -- role models and teach
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integrity and delayed gratification, all those things give a child the kind of foundation that allows them to say, you know, my future, i can make it what i want. and we've got to make sure that every child has that and in some cases, we may have to fill the gap and the void if children don't have that. so we should encourage marriage, by removing the financial disincentives for couples who love one another, but may find it financially disadvantageous if they get married. we should reform hour child support laws to get more men working an engaged with their children. and my administration will continue to work with the faith community and the private sector this year, on a campaign to encourage strong parenting and fatherhood, because what makes you a man is not the ability to make a child. it's the courage to raise one.
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[applause] >> we also know though that there's no sure path to success in the middle class than a good education. and what we now know is that that has to begin in the earliest years. study after study shows that the earlier a child starts learning, the more likely they are to succeed. the more likely they are to do well at hyde park academy. the more likely they are to graduate. the more likely they are to get a good job. the more likely they are to form stable families and then be able to raise children themselves, who get off to a good start. chicago already has a competition, thanks to what the mayor is doing, that rewards the best preschools in the city. so rahm emanuel has already
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prioritized this, but what i've also done is say, let's give every child across america access to high quality public preschool. every child the not just some. every dollar we put into early childhood education can save $7 down the road. by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, reducing violent crime, reducing the welfare rolls. making sure the folks who have work, now they're paying taxes, all this stuff pays back huge dividends. if we make the investment. so let's make this happen. let's make sure every child has the chance they deserve. as kids go through school, we'll recruit new math and science teachers to make sure they have the skills that the future demands.
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we'll hope more people in low income neighborhoods get summer jobs. we'll redesign high schools and encourage our kids to stay in high school, so the diploma they get leads directly to a good job once they graduate. right here in chicago, five new high schools have partnered with companies and community colleges to prepare our skids with the skills that businesses are looking for right now, and your college to careers program helps community college students get access to the same kinds of real world experience, so we know what works. let's just do it in more places. let's reach fo more young peopl. let's give more kids a chance. so we know how more than families are. we now how important education is. we recognize that government alone can't solve these problems of violence and poverty that
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everybody has to be involved. but we also have to remember that the broader economic environment of communities is critical as well. for example, we need to make sure that folks who are working now, often in the hardest jobs, see their work rewarded with wages that allow them to raise a family without falling into poverty. [applause] today a family with two kids that works hard, and relies on a minimum wage salary, still lives below the poverty line. that's wrong. and we should nicks it. we should reward an onest day's work with honest wages and that's why we should raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour and make it a wage you can live on.
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and even though some cities have bounced back pretty quickly from the recession, we know that there are communities and neighborhoods within cities or in small towns that haven't bounced back. cities like chicago are ringed with former factory towns that never came back all the way from plants packing up. there are pockets of poverty, where young adults are still looking for their first job. and that's why on tuesday, i have announced and that's part of what i want to focus on here in chicago, and across the country, is my intention to partner with 20 of the hardest hit communities in america to get them back in the game. get them back in the game. first of hall, we'll work with
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local leaders to cut through red tape and improve things like public safety and education and housing. and we'll bring all the resources to bear in a coordinated fashion. so that we can get that tipping point where suddenly a community starts feeling like things are changing and we can come back. second of all, if you're willing to play a role in a child's education, then we'll help you reform your schools. we want to see more and more partnerships of the kind that rahm is trying to set up. third, we'll bring jobs and growth to hard hit neighborhoods by giving tax breaks to business owners who invest and hire in those neighborhoods. fourth, and specific to the issue of violence, because it's very hard to develop economically, if people don't feel safe. if they don't feel like they can
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walk down the street and shop at a store without getting hit over the head or worse, then commerce dries up, businesses don't want to locate, families move out, you get into the wrong cycle. so we're going to target neighborhoods struggling to deal with violent crime and help them reduce that violence in ways that have been proven to work and i know this is a priority of your mayor's, it's going to be a priority of mine. [applause] >> and finally, we're going to keep working in communities all across the country, including here in chicago, to preplace rundown public housing that doesn't offer much hope, or safety, with new healthy homes for low and moderate income families. [applause] >> and here in woodlawn, you've seen some of the progress that we can make when we come together to rebuild our neighborhoods, and attract new businesses. and improve our schools.
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woodlawn is not all the way where it needs to be. but thanks to wonderful institutions like apostolic church, we've made great progress, so we want to help more communities follow your example. and let's go even farther by offering incentives to companies that hire unemployed americans who got what it takes to fill a job opening, but they may have been out of work so long, that nobody is willing to give them a chance right now. let's put our people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in need of repair. young people can get experience, apprenticeships, learn a trade and removing blithe from our community. [applause] >> if we gather together what works, we can extend more ladders of opportunity for anybody who's working to build a
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strong middle class life for themselves. because in america, your destiny shouldn't be determined by where you live. where you were born. it should be determined by how big you're willing to dream, how much effort and sweat and tears you're willing to put into realizing that dream. and when i first moved to chicago, before any of the students in this room were born, and a whole lot of people who were in the audience remembered me from those days, i lived in a community on the south side, right up the block, but i also worked further south where communities have been devastated by some of the steel plants closing. and my job was to work with churches and lay people and local leaders to rebuild neighborhoods and improve schools and help young people who felt like they had nowhere
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to turn, and those of you who worked with me, it wasn't easy. progress didn't come quickly. sometimes i got so discouraged i thought about just giving up. but what kept me going was the belief that with enough determination and effort and persistence and perseverance, change is always possible. that we may not be able to help everybody. but if we help a few, then that propels progress forward. we may not be able to save every child from gun violence, but if we save a few, that starts changing the atmosphere in our community. we may not be able to get everybody a job right away, but if we get a few folks a job, then everybody starts feeling a little more hopeful, a little more encouraged. neighborhood by neighborhoods. one block by one block. one family at a time.
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now this is what i had a chance to talk about when i met with some young men from hyde park academy, who were participating in this band program. where are the guys i talked to? stand up, y'all. so we can all see you guys. these are some -- these are all some exceptional young men and i couldn't be prouder of them and the reason i'm proud of them is because a lot of them have had some issues. that's part of the reason you guys are in the program. but what he explained to them was i had issues too. when i was their age. i just had an environment that was a little more forgiving, so when i screwed up, the consequences weren't as high as when kids on the south side screw up.
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i had mothe more of a safety ne. but these guys are no different than me. and we had that conversation about what does it take to change and the same thing that it takes for us individually to change, i said to them, well, that's what it takes for communities to change, that's what it takes for countries to change. it's not hazy, but it does require us first of all having a vision about where we want to be. it requires us recognizing that it will be hard work getting there. it requires us being able to overcome and persevere in the face of roadblocks and disappointments, and failures. it requires us reflecting internally about who we are and what we believe in, and you know, facing up to our own fears and insecurities.
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and admitting when we're wrong. and that same thing that we have to do in our individual lives, that these guys talked about, that's what we have to do for our communities and it will not be easy. but it can be done. when hadiya pendleton and her classmates visited washington, they spent time visiting the monument, including the dr. martin luther king jr. memorial, just off the national mall. hand that memorial stands as a tribute to everything dr. king achieved in his lifetime. but it also reminds us of how hard that work was. and how many disappointments he experienced 678. he was here in economy fighting poverty, -- chicago fighting poverty and just like a lot of
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us, there were times where he felt like he was losing hope. so in some ways, that memorial is a testament not to work that's completed, but it's a testament to the work that remains unfinished. his goal was to free us not only from the shackles of discrimination, but from the shadow of poverty that haunts too many of our communities. the self-destructive impulses and the mindless violence that claims so many lives. of so many innocent young people. these are difficult challenges. no solution we offer will be perfect, but perfection has never been our goal. our goal has been to try and make whatever difference we can. our goal has been to engage in the hard, but necessary work of bringing america one step closer to the nation we know we can be.
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if we do that, if we're striving with every fiber of our being to strengthen our middle class, to extend ladders of opportunity for everybody who's trying to -- as hard as they can, to create a better life for themselves, if we do everything in our power to keep our children safe from harm, if we're fulfilling our obligations to one another and the future generations, if we make that effort, them i'm confident, i am confident that we will write the next great chapter in our american story. i'm not going to be able to do it by myself though. nobody can. we're going to have to do it together. thank you everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [applause] ♪
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>> now house minority leader representative nancy pelosi. she criticized the g.o.p. leadership for recessing without a solution to the impending sequester, set to take effect march 1. representative nancy pelosi and other house democratic leaders expressed their anger at a new conference at the capitol. this is 45 minutes.
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>> did you all have a glorious valentine's day? or as we say, st. valentine's day. good afternoon. thank you all for being here. as we just come for -- came from a vote recently on the floor, where the democrats tried to stop the republicans from leaving, but 220 republicans voted to adjourn. that means that we have, what, four legislative days left to avoid the across-the-board cuts. this month, the republicans are engaged in some early march madness. they're playing games, with our economy, they're playing games with jobs, for the american people, they're playing games with their investments in the future. it's just not right.
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we -- the job stability and security of the middle class, that the president emphasized so eloquently in his state of the union address, that stability of the middle class hangs in the balance. the last thing republicans should do is to kick off another recess, that we will be out to avert a manufactured crisis. they manufacture the crisis and then instead of having us try to avert that crisis, they go on a nine day recess. why? why? people inside and outside the congress are saying, a simple message. no deal, no break. we really should be here. democrats are a bad solution. the republicans about sequester. we want a balanced approach, a responsible cut. revenue hand growth, a plan for fairness to create jobs, and reduce the deficit. republican strategy of
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obstruction and delay and recess injects uncertainty into our economy, the markets, our consumer confidence, just not right. the democrats want to get a job done and we're here to tell you, once again, about that. i'm pleased to yield to our distinguished democratic whip, who had some words to say on this on the floor of the house earlier, which i hope he will also share with you. mr. hoyer. >> perhaps not quite as animatedly. >> oh, go for it. >> two weeks from today, if congress fails to ability, the republican policy of sequestration will take effect. sequestration is a dangerous and rational policy, or as leader nancy pelosi said, cutting across-the-board without preference to priority level. that it will have devastating effects on our national security and economic recovery.
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thousands of americans will lose their jobs or be furloughed, including teachers, researchers, law enforcement agents, military contractors. everyone should be clear that sequestration is a republican policy and it is a bad policy. on july 19th, 2011, 229 republicans, that's 98% of their caucus, voted for the cut, cap and balance bill. that employed the irrational approach of sequestration as an alternative to cutting spending if a rational and balanced way, so when the american people hear this is something that president obama wanted to do, they ought to know that's not true, period. this is a republican policy, included in their bill, that they offered july 11, 2011, before there was any discussion. between mr. obama and mr. boehner to avoid the debt
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limit being violated, and having america's credit undermined. that's when it was brought up, because it was republican policy and maybe that was a part of a compromise which it ended up being. 222 republicans voted today, again as pointed out, 96% of the caucus, to go home. to go home for a week without a way to turn off the sequester. they're once again walking away from the american people. you have may remember, when unemployment insurance was at risk, i said they were walking away from six million people. they walked away from middle class tax cuts. i assume that when they say this, in advertising their adjournment resolution, they called it it rules, resolution prohibiting democratic grand standing on the house floor.
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not only would they not put mr. van hollens legislation on the flue two weeks ago or this week, they won't even open the floor to discussion, to the representatives of the american people. i assume that grand standing they referred to is when he we demanded that they address unemployment insurance and prevent a middle class tax increase. republicans would have us return to our districts with nothing to show our constituents, not withstanding the fact we've been here for six weeks this year. who are deeply concerned about how the sequester will make their lives more difficult and their communities less safe. our country less safe and our communities less safe as a result of sequester. that would be extremely irresponsible. and we're urging them to stay and keep the house in session. we are calling on them to stay and work with us in pursuit of a balanced solution to which mr. van hollen will address.
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yesterday, senate democrats offered an alternative plan that is balanced and will turn off the sequester. if nancy pelosi were the speaker of this house and i were the majority leader of this house, sequester would not happen. representative chris van hollen of the budget committee offered an alternative. speaker boehner, leader cantor ought to allow it to come to the floor. they have not yet. unfortunately, the majority is under the influence of a faction of radical rejectors of common sense. the american people ought to send us a message and the house republicans, no deal, no break. i now want to yield to my friend, mr. van hollen. >> thank you, steni. not only did the republicans in the house propose the idea of
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sequester as a policy before it was ever in the budget control act, but when the budget control act was passed, i think you all remember, speaker boehner saying he got 98% of what he wanted. and now they're getting the sequester that they called for. in fact, the tea party republicans went on national television the other day, senator rand paul cheering on the idea of the sequester right after the president of the united states had said, let's avoid the sequester through a balanced approach. so president wants to avoid it. tea party caucus in the house and elsewhere cheering on the idea of sequester. what are the consequences? according to the fannie mae partisan congressional budget office, if we don't avoid the sequester between march 1 and the end of this year, 750,000 americans will not have jobs it otherwise would have. it will cost us 750,000 jobs according to the congressional budget office. just to put that in perspective, that's the number of jobs that
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have been created from october of last year through january of this year. the congressional budget office says that we will have one-third less economic growth. one-third less economic growth this year, if that sequester goes into effect. so you would think our republican colleagues would join us in staying here right now to prevent that from happening. now, in the house, leader n and my colleagues here, we have four times presented a plan to avoid the sequester for the year and yet achieve the same amount of long-term deficit reduction, without losing 750,000 jobs through a combination of targeted cuts, as well as the elimination of a lot of tax breaks for special interests and for very wealthy people, and our republican colleagues have repeatedly denied us the opportunity to even vote on that and as was said, now want to leave town without a chance to vote on it. now, yesterday, the senate democrats put forward a plan, very similar to the one that
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we've put forward, it includes the buffet rule, which makes sure that, you know, folks who work for people like mr. buffet, don't have to pay a higher effective tax rate than people who pacificist -- who make $2 million a year. by eliminating a lot of the special break, there's a limit to how you thank advantage of those. we included the elimination of direct payments, excessive farm subsidies. the senate did that as well. we also had a provision that would end taxpayer subsidies to the big five oil companies. the senate has instead adopted a provision that starting in 2015, would, in a measured way, reduce defense spending. and we can embrace that framework as well. as an alternative going forward. so the bottom line, as we gather here today, is that house democrats, senate democrats and the president of the united
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states are all 100% united in coming together with an alternative that would prevent 750,000 americans from losing their jobs starting january 1, and an alternative that achieves the same amount of deficit reduction, but in a smart and measured way over a period of time. so while we're all here ready to do the work, where we're united behind a plan to prevent that kind of massive job loss, our republicans are heading back home and not doing the people's business. so with that, i'm very pleased to and it over to the ranking member of the appropriations committee, who really has focused on the terrible impact these cuts will have across the board. >> it's no secret to anyone that the impending sequestration poses a huge threat to our economy and it's no secret that
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time is running out for us to do something and we know what to do to make sure that we prevent these catastrophic cuts. the house republican leadership, must keep the house in session so that we can get something done. we shouldn't be leaving town with the impending sequestration. sequestration would impose an additional $1.2 trillion in cuts across-the-board to initiatives that democrats and republicans care about. in every part of our country, in every district, there's going to be pain from these cuts. in fact, a george mason university study indicates that 2.1 million jobs could be lost if we don't act to stop the sequester. this week, the appropriations committee put out a report and it makes it very clear that these cuts would make it harder for middle class families to get ahead.
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furloughs of air traffic controllers, food inspectors, border patrol, cuts to job training, federal education assistance, reduce investments in safe drinking water, medical research, diminish military readiness, end the security. the sequester will make it harder to train for the job you need or to keep the one you have. it will make it harder to keep enough teachers in our classrooms, researchers who can find cures in our lab and it will make it harder to invest in repaying our broken infrastructure which creates good paying jobs. the clock is ticking. it is clicking, ticking towards march 1. republicans are just wasting time playing a blame game and taking a recess from session. we need to pass a balanced solution like we have discussed today.
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we have to do it now. we can't leave town and just delay. >> thank you, nita. if you've been watching, you're beginning to see something that's no longer out of the ordinary. yesterday, for the first time in our nation's history, the republicans decided to filibuster a president's nominee to head the department of defense as defense secretary. a patriot, a wounded vietnam veteran, a republican was denied a chance by republicans to have a full vote to become the secretary of defense, chuck hagel. this same week, the senate pas passed by bipartisan majority of 78-22, the violence against women's act. and yet, here in the house,
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republicans once again, as they did last year, refused to let the american people have a vote on protecting women from domestic violence. and today, republicans in the house decided to cut the pay of the very same people that you heard ms. lowey name to you. law enforcement personnel, health and safety inspectors, embassy personnel. today, the republicans voted to cut their pay. to pay for tax cuts of the very wealthy, to keep subsidies for big oil companies going, things that republicans refuse to eliminate, those types of subsidies and tax loopholes. and so i say to you all, welcome to the new normal for the tea party republicans who control the congress. this is no longer an exception. it is the rule for republicans.
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73% of house republicans voted in 2011 for the republican-inspired sequester and has mr. van hollen pointed out, speaker boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted and he says i'm pretty happy. now, 222 house republicans vote for a nine-day recess, when we are just 13 calendar days and only four legislative days away from seeing the devastating cuts under the so-called sequester take effect. remember, republicans were for this sequester before they were against it, before they decided to do nothing about it. democrats have a very simple message -- this is no time to cut and run. let's stay and get our work done, and with that, let me yield now to the vice chair of the caucus, joe crowley. >> thank you, javier. let me say when american businessmen and women and
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hard-working american families go through tough times, they don't decide that that's the proper time to take time off from doing work. in fact, that's when they worked even harder. and that's the message my republican colleagues, republican congress needs to hear. this is not the time to do less. it's the time to do more. as leader nancy pelosi mentioned before, with just four legislative days left before this -- congressional republican made crisis, the american people expect us to act and not sit on our hands hand do nothing. the american people are tired of the crisis making here in washington. they're tied of the creation of additional cliffs. they want to see us accomplish something, they want to seep us get things done. this is not the time for the republican congress to leave town, to sit on their hands, to go back to their districts, to build observation decks, so they
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can build the fruits of their destructive labor, because that's what they will be doing. >> thank you, joe, very briefly, by sending us into recess, the republicans may be sending us back towards a recession. 750,000 jobs will be lost as a result of their actions. you know, there are real world consequences to their dysfunction, and their chronic chaos. sometimes an act of a natural disaster devastates an economy. sometimes an act of war devastates an economy, and in this case, the acts of the the republican majority will devastate our economy. 750,000 job losses will devastate our economy. the economic security of the middle class is going to be threatened. extreme events out of our control do devastate an economy. in this case, the extremism of an out of control republican
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majority will devastate our economy and that is unacceptable and my final point is this. i want to just remind people. when democrats were in the majority, we didn't have sequestration, with republicans in the majority, there will be sequestration. when we are back in the majority, we won't have sequestration, so for the defense workers who may get pink slips and the federal law enforcement officers who may be furloughed, and the f.b.i. agents and the food inspectors who are looking at layoffs, i want to remind them that those pink slips have been brought to you by this republican of chronic chaos. we have a plan, they've got partisanship. we have a compromise. they've got a recess. it is time for them to get to work, to avoid this crisis. and stand up for the middle class. thank you. >> i thank my colleagues for their statements here today, but all of their hard work going in
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to reaching that compromise and mr. van hollen, we thank you especially on the budget committee for the work that you have done there, and congresswoman, madam chair, ranking member, for pointing outs so clearly what the consequences are of this. as i was listening to my colleagues, and the word sequester and sequestration kept coming up, i was thinking most people in america doesn't know -- don't know what that word means. right? what it means is, unemployment. sequester equals job loss. absolutely no question about that. so why would you want to engage in job loss when instead, we could come together for a solution that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is bipartisan, that will promote growth with jobs. with responsible cuts, with additional revenue, we can get through this.
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why not? why not. we should not be going home. we should in the house be working. because as has been said the beauty of what was going on with mr. van hollen's committee on the democratic side, and the leadership of chairwoman patty murray in the senate, the proposals are divided evenly between cuts and revenue, and among the cuts, they are divided, the spending cuts are divided between domestic and defense.
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great fun, competition, and we saw the hoyas win the other night, and maryland is doing well, steny. it is madness that springs from us going to recess that could lead us into recession, as mr. israel has said. i know my colleagues will be addressing any questions you may have.
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>> the democrats in the senate, giving them a pass on this, why so? >> it all has to begin in the house. the bill has to begin in house. >> a couple numbers -- zero -- the number of things the house has done to do anything about the sequester. they have done nothing in the 113th congress. senate democrats have put a plan on the table, which is a good plan, to avoid the sequestration. we're here in washington all united, and they're going home. i am sure we can get harry reid, he will come back as the speaker will join with us in supporting the plan that the house and senate democrats and the president supports to avoid the sequester and avoid 750,000 americans losing their jobs. we will do it. they put a plan on their table, we put a plan on the table, the house has put zero plans on the table.
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>> they always talk about what they did in the last congress. those bills are gone. they keep pointing to them as if somehow magically they are going to be resurrected. if they want to resurrect them, put them on the floor and let's vote. >> it is often talked about, sequestration, and we have heard so much about the sequester. will you lay out areas that are most important to democrats that the sequester will impact? >> i will defer to our budget chair because he has worked with all of our caucus on this, but i know other members will be talking about it, and that is where the rubber meets the road in the appropriations committee. that we say, since you mentioned education, when they talk about cutting education, it is a very
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mindless thing to do. speaking of minds and education, nothing brings more money to the treasury that educating the american people, early childhood, k-12, postgraduate, lifetime learning -- nothing brings more money to the treasury. in addition to the fact that all innovation begins in the classroom, and our national competitiveness, it brings more money to the treasury to reduce the deficit, for one. investments in biomedical research -- the whole world is in competition on this, and we are going to cut our investments for medical research, to grants that are put outside the national institutes of health as well as what is happening there?
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that is really giving the advantage to other countries over us. i will yield to the congresswoman, because she listed some of these, and you mentioned those, so i wanted her to speak to those. >> thank you, madam leader. i wanted to follow up with your comments about research. a major new york hospital came to me and said, do you have to do the sequester? we get $185 million for research, into cancer, alzheimer's, autism, and on and on, not only is this critical research that saves lives, but this is economic development. and these kinds of institutions exist all over the country. so you are going to take steps backward in the important research that we have to do -- and, by the way, this saves not a lives, but money -- when you can find cures for these illnesses?
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it is jobs, people, hard-working people. i was at the energy and water committee the other day, where there is some bipartisanship, and it was clear to me that it did not matter, because there are going to be cuts in our research labs around the country, and this is closely allied with the defense industry as well. we're doing important research that supports the defense establishment, and again, it is making amazing advances nuclear issues, much more than i could discuss with you today. look at what the labs are doing around the country. and education -- we know, as the leader mentioned, that it is so critical to get our young people in pre-k, to make sure they're getting the education they need so they do not fall behind,
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because if you fall behind at the beginning, then what happens later on? this sequester this not make any sense at all. we should be sitting down as appropriators and working it out, and i must tell you that there are many people the republican side of the aisle, on the appropriations committee, with whom i have worked for years, believe in regular order, they would like to sit down and work it out, but this tea party crowd wants to go home and all they're saying is sequester, sequester, sequester. i can tell you there are a dozen more examples that -- you mentioned air traffic controllers -- is critical. food and safety. what about the food that comes into our country? it is really serious. it creates chaos in dozens of industries around the country, and the bottom line, it is a deterrent to our economic
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future. i wanted to mention one other example to elaborate on that, and that is infrastructure. we all believe we have to deal with the deficit. we all believe and we had it in writing that we need a long-term plan to deal with the deficit. but right now, as president obama says, we have to put people to work. our roads, our bridges are crumbling, so we are right to cut infrastructure at this critical time? this is madness. we should be working, stay here, and we could work it out together. the people that are paying their dues, their obeisance to the tea party should be isolated, and the rational people on both sides of the aisle should work together and get this done. >> i want to add something briefly to that, chad, one of the most important crises that is created is the inability of a
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people who are providing services, people who are receiving services or working for government have any sense of confidence that tomorrow will be a stable tomorrow and they can do the work that they are expected to do. it is almost incalculable, the undermining of confidence and good order of getting a job done and the cost that that will hit additionally the american people. totally irresponsible. >> if i could emphasize one point on the deficit reduction, the proposal we put forward in the house, house democrats and the senate democrats, achieved the same amount of deficit reduction as the sequester would do, but they achieved it without losing 750,000 jobs. why? because you have targeted at
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over a time to get rid of these payments to agribusinesses, which serve no useful purpose right now. we asked a very high income earners, people paying more than $2 million a year, to pay a 30% effective tax rate said they cannot take advantage disproportionately of all these tax preferences that are in the code, and so what republicans are saying they would rather cut all that right now at the expense of 250,000 american jobs than get rid of these excessive subsidies for agribusinesses, are asking for people making $2 million years to pay more. we get the same amount of deficit reduction in a smart way without the 250,000 americans losing their jobs. the other thing is there are going to be federal employees who perform important services for the american people at nih and others, they will be furloughed, but the 750,000 jobs
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i'm talking about, that is not federal employees. those are non-federal employees, those are americans throughout the rest of the economy. yes, you will see a huge disruption in government services and all the negative implications in our investments in our future. on top of that you will see 750,000 americans lose their jobs, according to the cbo. >> the chairman of the appropriations committee said he is going to take the c.r., that is going to be at the 1043 level be subject to sequestration. they are going to do that in the next couple of weeks to ideally avoid a government shutdown. would democrats support a c.r. that would go into september that's subject to this sequestration? >> you know the details that that c.r. would make changes in
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the defense bill and leave the others alone. now, the negative is, they're not making any adjustments at nih, homeland security the bill, air-traffic control, etc. however, it could go over to the senate. the senate could make important changes, and then come back here and let's see if we can get some bipartisan working together. it is not clear exactly what would happen, and then as i understand it, and you have all reported it, first we looked at it and said this is an interesting idea, let's explore it, but see if we can work something out. but after this happens, they're still planning to do the sequester. it would be the c.r. attached to the defense bill that would go to the senate, it could be made better, with barbara mikulski and senator shelby, and then
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they still want to do the sequester. i want to close with one other important thing. the budget control act already cut $1.5 trillion. it is important that the discretionary part of our budget is the lowest percentage of the economy, of gdp, that it has been in 45 years. so when we talk about cutting jobs, when we talk about destroying the economy, this is real. these are not statistics. these are people in every district in our country that are going to be hit by this. that is why this plan is really not a total solution at all, and i think what our chairman said before is critical. >> let me emphasize one thing. i talked about the 750,000 jobs lost. that does not change that at all. you are still taking this big, deep cuts within a short period
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of time. so again, the independent nonpartisan cbo says when you suck that much investment out of the country in a very short period of time, americans are going to lose jobs. the sequestration element, the magnitude of the cuts, will remain the same under that plan, so your total job loss number will remain the same under that plan. from the point of view of the whole economy, you are just rearranging the chairs on the deck of the titanic. the titanic still goes down, losing 250,000 jobs, reducing economic growth by a full third this year. >> let me make a comment. i am not sure that what you posited is correct. in trying to get republican votes for not going over the cliff, as i understand it, the speaker made two promises. one was that ryan would present
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a budget that would balance within 10 years. as you know, his initial budget was 2040 or thereabouts to balance. that is going to be -- if he does that, he is going to savage the economy, as well as government and national security and economic security. and the second promise, as i understand he made to the rsc, was that he would mark appropriations bills to the $985 billion figure, which was the rsc budget's figure you will recall we had a vote on, we voted present, they were worried that the rsc budget would prevail, and they switch votes so they could defeat the budget, because they thought 985 was too radical. it is, but it is my understanding that speaker boehner make it representation to the rsc at the time of the cliff vote that we would mark the 985 figure, not the 1043.
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[indiscernible] >> no, but for clarification, he is talking about the c.r. that's attached to the defense bill. after that, are still going to do the sequester that will bring it down to the level that mr. hoyer mentioned. it is not a loan. >> i do understand, but the c.r. would be at 1043, but subject to sequestration. >> we had that presentation, that sequestration is going to take place, according to them. they made that decision. >> and there is a rumor that one of the other promises the speaker made to his members is that if they voted for previous legislation or if they allow it to come before, because then never got 218, they would let sequestration go through. sequestration is a bad idea.
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whether doing any c.r., omnibus, but that also we can go into the mode of the ways and means folks up here may want to talk about sequestration and fairness in a tax code and we have to get to that place and do that. people -- what is this about? we all want to reduce the deficit. in order to reduce the deficit, we have to cut spending and we have to obtain increased revenue, in order for us to have growth, growth with jobs. democrats have supported $1.6 trillion in cuts, $1.2 trillion in the budget control act, another $400 billion in other actions taken in the last
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congress last year, $1.6 trillion. the whole idea was to have it balanced. and the revenue side, we had $600 billion. what is that, three to one in favor of cuts. i would hope that you in your messaging to the american people make it clear that we have made cuts, we have passed bills for those cuts. but we want to see more in terms of the revenue side to make this happen. one way to go is the buffet rule, which says that everyone should be paying, the people making over $2 million a year would pay 30%, by closing some loopholes, making them not be available beyond 30%.
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the republicans are saying we do not want to touch tax breaks, tax giveaways to big oil. they would rather you cut pell grants by the same amount. i do not think that is a reflection of the values of the american people. but the record should be clear as to where we stand today. we have voted for $1.6 trillion in cuts. the other side of it, $600 billion in revenue, and no more tax cuts for the wealthy, say the republicans, take out of meals on wheels, food safety, education, head start, the safety of our neighborhoods, the education of our children, the safety of our food, the defense of our country, our national security. it is just not right. i think that was it. >> to rephrase what frank's question was, i think we can all accept the fact that the house republicans cannot keep the government open, they will just
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not have 218 votes, no matter how they do things. would democrats -- if the devil's bargain would be to either allow the government to shut at the end of march or pass a -- or approve a c.r. that leaves in place the sequester -- >> i appreciate your question and the good faith in which it has been offered. the republicans are poised to shut down government. the republicans are poised to let sequestration go forward, which is sequestration -- you know what that word means and what it means to the american people -- unemployment, no jobs, take us to recession. it's not quite an exact latin translation -- [laughter] but that is what it means. that is what is means. so we have no idea even what the
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provenance of mr. rogers' proposal is. does it hav the backing of the leadership? let's see what is proposed and when. but the fact this is their obstruction, and we have made many cuts and we stand ready to make more, but we are not on to destroy our opportunity for growth in our country, growth with jobs, because at the end of the day, revenue comes from those jobs. so if you're interested in deficit reduction, you need more revenue. and let me say this one other thing -- so curious, so curious that in the eight years of the bush administration, while the bulk of this deficit was being amassed, you did not hear them say boo, who, whoo, that any deficit hawk bird sound you could come up with. [laughter] it was an endangered species, the deficit hawk.
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but i also think it is important that this, and this is the last thing i want to say here today. understand this -- the republican party in the congress, as opposed to other republican party in the country -- and that is why i say, republicans, take back your party -- the republican party in congress is dominated by ideologues, and they will forever want to reduce taxes on special interests, make cuts in the education of our children and the care of our seniors and the rest, because they do not believe in government. so shrink the tax revenue and make serious cuts that undermine our economic growth, that undermined the education of our children, the undermine the creation of jobs, but that's who they are -- and bless their hearts -- and they act upon their beliefs, and that is what they believe, and that is what
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this fight is about. so let's not skirt and around the edges here. let's understand what is fundamental between the two parties here. yes, we are going to reduce the deficit, yes, we need to make cuts to do that, we need more revenue, we need growth. we need anything more, my colleagues? thank you. >> next we'll talk with republican tennessee represent marsha blackburn. then after this chris murphy. on newsmakers republican harold rogers talks about his efforts to fund the federal government through the september 30 which would avoid a government shutdown and the impact it would have on veteran programs.
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>> i think the women themselves had interests in politics so they were attracted to men who would be politically active or already politically active. >> each of them, i find intriguing. probably half of them because they are so obscure. half of these women probably would be almost unrecognizable to most men and women on the street. >> this president's day c-span premieres its new series "first ladies influence." exploring the lives of the women who served as first ladies from martha washington to michelle obama.
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season one begins monday night on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. watch the program earlier in the day live on 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> now a conversation with tennessee representative marsha blackburn. this is 35 minutes. host: marsha blackburn joins us. a republican from tennessee. good morning. president obama has been on a tour is a visiting places like georgia, north carolina. we saw him give the state of the union address. how are republicans getting some air time? what is your message this week as the president takes his message to the street? guest: how unfortunate that he chose to leave d.c. then rather trying to sit down with us of trying to address the nation's problems. jobs, the economy, out of control spending -- we would have loved to have had the
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opportunity to talk to him and work with him. the way republicans are getting our message out is through what i call the network of you. is our constituents. you have seen republicans very active on social media this week. you're seeing us a very active with a telephone and town halls. we're talking directly to our constituents, those in our districts, and we are going to be heading home. each and every one of us have a very busy week and next week as we visit with our constituents, meet with chambers of commerce, employers, and find out what is and is not working for them. host: nbc has a recent scoring -- story --how are you tweaking the tone? guest: i think our core philosophy and principles --
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different people are for. free people, free markets, a small, centralized government, making sure we focus on individual freedoms. the communication of that message, it gets muddied a lot of time -- a lot of the time. we have not been very successful, as you have seen in the presidential election. maybe we need some different messengers, some younger messengers, who are out there. we need to be sensitive to it. if we want people to hear us, it is important that we have individuals that they will listen to. host: other stores in the paper, the sequestration, the automatic spending cuts set to take in -- "the new york times" says the senate democrats are offering a proposal. this comes from "the washington post" -- what would mean to your district?
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guest: i have been for spending cuts. i have called for across-the-board spending cuts. i did it in the state senate in tennessee. cutting into the discretionary budget is a good thing. we need to cut even more. a lot of my constituents want it to be cut 10%. cut that budget and%. when it comes to the military, we want to protect -- 10%. when it comes to the military, we want to protect that. the party taken a $500 billion reduction over 10 years. -- they have already taken a 500 billion reduction over 10 years. the president's addition to the sequester was quadrupling the cuts to defense.
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what we need to do is cut the non-defense discretionary more and lead defense alone. my constituents want to see across-the-board spending cuts. they want to see stabilization in trust funds, which are medicare and social security. they want to see reform and reduction in the entitlements. they continue to push us to do it. yes, sequestration will go in, and what you're going to see republicans do is offer some ideas and legislation on how we protect the military during this process. host: if you would like to join the conversation, with marsha blackburn, you can give us a call at these numbers -- let's go to the phones and hear from a democrat in shelbyville, from a democrat in shelbyville, indiana.